VR Pro launches three fantastic fall virtual events
With the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fresh round of fall race cancellations means runners will be relying on good virtual events to help provide goals and structure needed to keep fit both physically and mentally. To that end, as has been the case since last spring, the team at VR Pro Races is providing a number of great virtual options this fall.
“At this time when we have to social distance to avoid the spread and our real races have been cancelled, we can still all go out and run or walk and train,” says Kelly Arnott, co-founder of VR Pro Races. “Goals are so important and therefore having something substantial to work towards like your first 5K or 10K.”
Here are the three new virtual events to check out this fall from the VR Pro team, which also organizes popular races such as the Chilly Half Marathon.
(Photo by Fil Mazzarino)
Remembrance Day Races
Recently, with Remembrance Day on the horizon, VR Pro got their latest virtual event underway. The Remembrance Day Races is an international virtual event in collaboration with the Juno Beach Centre — Canada’s Second World War museum and cultural centre located in Normandy, France.
Arnott says the idea for the new virtual run — open for registration with runs scheduled until Nov. 28 — came months ago and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic after conversations with a person who expressed interest in starting a physical event for Remembrance Day. Although that will have to wait, the virtual event is already taking shape and people are responding. And not just in Canada.
What sets this race apart is the three unique distances — the StrongPoint1500m, the Juno Beach 8K and the Remembrance 21.1K (a half marathon) — each signifying an aspect of the historic Juno Beach landing in France on D-Day.
The Juno Beach Centre, which pays homage to the 45,000 Canadian troops that lost their lives during the Second World War, is happy to be a part of this worthy event — $10 from each entry is donated to the centre.
“We’re excited to be partnering with VR PRO for our first Remembrance Day Races. The revenues we rely on to operate the Juno Beach Centre have been slashed by COVID-19, and the funds raised will help us recover from the impacts of the pandemic and continue to carry the torch for our veterans,” says Don Cooper, president of the Juno Beach Centre Association. “We are also excited to connect with people across Canada who share our mission.”
Participants will receive a race kit, a gorgeous commemorative medal as well as a race bib, imprinted neck gaiter, a Remembrance Day poppy, and a beautifully printed Juno Beach D-Day souvenir map.
The event concept has already struck a chord for many runners and non-runners alike. Arnott relays the story of a lady in Nova Scotia who contacted her regarding the Remembrance Day Races.
“She had heard about it and her father was one of the soldiers at Juno Beach,” Arnott says. “She went to Juno Beach last year. So she and her three friends are going to do the 1500 meter walk. She's not a runner. We want to get to everybody including veterans, their families, students, right across the country and beyond.”
As the event starts to get underway, there is also word that runners will participate in France as well as the United States. It’s something with meaning, something to run for, and that’s what seems to matter most to people right now.
What better way to introduce your family to the idea of honouring our veterans, or pay tribute to a veteran in your own life than by taking part in this event and raising money for the Juno Beach Centre? Great concept.
There are three ways to register for the event.
For Run Signup register here.
For Race Roster register here.
For Running Room register here.
The Remembrance Day Races medal
Virtual Santa 5K and 10k
Don’t look now, but it is time to don the Santa Claus suit to take part in this festive annual tradition — this time virtually!
The Virtual Santa event can be run anytime between Oct. 1 and Dec. 26. And, it is a fantastic way to safely celebrate the holiday with family or friends.
What could be more festive than a family of jolly old elves jogging around the neighbourhood?
And, if participants don’t have a Santa suit leftover from last year’s physical event, the team has you covered there too and will send one out to you. There is a registration option for those with suits and those without who would like one. And they come with a hat, beard, belt — the works.
In addition, race kits also come with the choice of two event finisher medal designs as well as a bib and special treat.
To register for this event go here.
At last year's Santa Run
VR Pro has also come up with a race to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. This unique event is open to all and includes holiday-themed race kits to celebrate.
The showcase of this virtual event is the Hanukkah Challenge as well as the Hanukkah Super Challenge, where runners test their mettle by running a set distance each day for eight days — one kilometre per day for the Challenge, and eight kilometres per day for the Super Challenge.
The 1K Challenge is designed to appeal to families and young children who can do the event together. After each 1K is complete, one of the candles provided with the race kit can be placed in a menorah and lit. By the end of the eighth day, all eight candles in the menorah will be lit!
Super Challenge participants receive a Star of David ring. In addition, there is also a single-day 8K option. Participants in this event will also receive a menorah medal and candles.
Registration is limited to 800 people for this one, so do not delay. For full event details go here.
As always, the VR Pro team fosters a sense of community within the running community. The team’s Facebook group for runners has provided runners with an opportunity to connect with each, share accomplishments and challenges during these trying times. Make sure you check it out right here and be sure to join the VR Pro Cross-Canada October Team Challenge, by posting your walks, runs and rides!